‘The real enemy is climate complacency’ – Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley calls for radical action

By Alexander Green
August 20 2020, 17:15

Green Party co-leader and Lambeth councillor Jonathan Bartley is calling for radical action in the response to coronavirus.

Mr Bartley, 48, also leader of the opposition at Lambeth Council, warned the government against further denial in the fight against climate change.

Greenhouse gas emissions fell by 31% during lockdown.

He said: “The real enemy is climate complacency, knowing what needs to be done and doing nothing.

“I wish the Prime Minister would take climate change as seriously as protecting Dominic Cummings.”

As transport use by bus has fallen by 69%, Mr Bartley also believes there needs to be an overhaul of the transport sector going forward.

Mr Bartley said: “The genie is well and truly out of the bottle and there is no going back.

“We need to recognise our transport infrastructure should be better.

“There should be no more bailing out of companies to save jobs, they must be taken into public ownership to be protected.”

The Government’s record on climate action is varied with some notable achievements such as establishing the largest offshore wind capacity in the world.

But according to Climate Action Tracker, the government’s fourth and fifth carbon budgets are not expected to be met between 2022 and 2032.

Mr Bartley acknowledged the need to transform the economy by acquiring an economic stimulus the size of the ‘Marshall Plan’ to ensure there are green jobs fit for the future.

For example, he reiterated the importance of a carbon-free economy, where the amount of training for renewable energy jobs would be doubled over the next ten years.

Mr Bartley was clear that the financial burden required to tackle the climate emergency would involve reversing the cuts by the Government on Welfare of £34 billion since 2010.

Looking ahead, Mr Bartley remains hopeful for initiatives that aim to stop commuting into the borough of Lambeth and introduce low traffic neighbourhoods.

Image of Jonathan Bartley courtesy of The Green Party

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